The message of the WTC bombing

An immense amount of hot air has been produced over the bombing on 2001, September 11th of the World Trade Centre (primary symbol of the might of global capitalism) and the Pentagon (primary symbol the military might of the U.S.A.), though little has been said about the perpetrator's intended message.

It is clear that this attrocity was committed primarily to communicate a message: the details aren't exactly clear, but someone out there is furious with the machinery of globalised capitalism backed up by the U.S.A.'s military machine.

I have repeatedly heard folk asking Why did they do it ? Why do they hate America so much ? These folk have missed the point. Sure, I guess the perpetrators do hate America; and anyone who can't see why hasn't paid, to the nature of the U.S.A.'s foreign policy (as opposed to its governments' propaganda on this topic) over the last half century, enough attention to be well enough informed to cast a vote responsibly in any election for any part of the federal government. But that isn't the point. They didn't do the attack to kill people: they didn't do it because they hate America per se - they did it because they see the U.S.A.'s military-industrial complex as the heart of evil.

The perpetrators were not interested in declaring war on the American people, or on humanity, liberty, democracy, motherhood or apple pie for that matter - whatever the leaders of the free world may tell us. They were declaring war on the power elite which runs the show: that power elite is doing its level best to make the rest of us think we were the target - after all, thousands of folk like you and me died. But the perpetrators did not care about how many folk they killed - if they had, they'd have done the dirty deed later in the day, when more folk were in the towers, or earlier in the day if they'd been trying to minimise casualties. Their targets were the symbols, not the people. Just as the U.S.A.'s military does not let the prospect of collateral damage stop them dropping bombs on targets they've decided to take out, so equally the September 11th culprits didn't let the lives of innocent civilians stop them hitting their chosen targets.

Some palestinians (and others) were shown to us all, on our television news in the aftermath, celebrating the attack: many folk were outraged to see this, regarding it as a celebration at the deaths of the folk caught in the towers when they fell. But the celebration wasn't about that: it was about the fact that the symbols of mammon's might had been struck down - to the celebrants, as to the perpetrators, the dead were an incidental detail. If this seems callous, remember that the profits of international corporations would be lower but for playing fast and loose with the life-expectancies of their work-forces and the folk living off the ecosystems their factories pollute. Check with Amnesty for details, but many of the most oppressive regimes in the world are propped up by the help they get from Western business interests: one should not be surprised if their citizens (however wrongly) view the home-land of those businesses as a legitimate target for all manner of attrocities.

Indeed, the perpetrators' contempt for human life (their own included) may well be the message: while the U.S.A.'s foreign policy continues placing short-term commercial interests above the rights and dignity of the world's poor, life is cheapened - no-one can expect any greater security in this world than is enjoyed by the humblest victims of that policy.

Perversely enough, it seems those most apt to commit attrocities are not the oppressed themselves, but relatively well-to-do youths desperate to distance themselves from the oppressors and earn acceptance by a socio-political group whose genuine grievances are unredressed. Their privileged upbringing causes much of the world, by default, to identify them with the middle classes, who are often perceived, by the oppressed, as colluding with oppression. Embarassed by the stigma attached to privilege, some turn to desperate measures to prove that they identify with the oppressed, not the oppressors. Like cowards who can be goaded into doing rash and objectionable things by the fear of being perceived as cowards; so also do those, who have lost touch with the spirit of their people, goad themselves into barbaric crimes – which violate mores and customs of that people – in their desperation to prove that they still hold true to that spirit.

Written by Eddy.
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